"Go For It Roy!!"
or an unexpected end to an otherwise dismal season
Okay, so Geo and I went to the penultimate Pirates baseball game at the ever-so-lovely PNC Park with our good friends Doug and Kelly. It was prize day wherein the Bucco organization literally cleans out its proverbial closet of all the random extra crap they couldn't give away over the season and shove it into the waiting arms of those attending.
This year the give-aways were as disappointing as the putrid performance of the Pirates players. A magnetic schedule for 2010?!? Really? That's what you're giving away? A schedule. Seriously? I spit my disgust in your general direction.
I arrived around the third inning in time to see our team score two runs. Then the Dodgers scored to tie it 2-2 so, that was pretty much it for highlights of the game.
The biggest cheers from the crowd came when Cheese Chester pulled ahead of Sauerkraut Sal, Oliver Onion and my darling Jalapeno Hanna (on a steeeeck. Jeff Dunham fans will get that) to win the ever popular Perogie Race. For those non-Burghers, the Perogie race is when four grown men and women don big-ass perogie costumes and run around the outfield to the finish line tape in right field. It's very popular and some nights the only thing worth cheering.
That's Kelly with Sauerkraut Saul
The second biggest crowd pleaser of the afternoon was a dude in the middle deck catching back-to-back foul balls for his kid. It was brilliant. His performance was so good, the Pirates immediately traded him to the Atlanta outfield stands for a fan to be named later. You know, in a rebuilding effort.
That's funny because it's true.
Back to the game...
At the top of the ninth, the Bucs bobbled a simple double play to start a Dodgers' rally ending in a soul-crushing score of 5-2. It was such an excruciatingly painful performance, the 8 year old boys around us started taunting our team with Little League dis like "we need a catcher, not a belly scratcher". There was nothing left to do but laugh. Really. This bungled loss would be a fitting end to a nightmarish season. The final nail in the coffin of every Pirates fan hopes and dreams of a respectable end to a record breaking dismal season.
But wait... surprisingly the bottom of the ninth started out with a couple hits and a run. All throughout the game, the Dodgers kept walking our better player, Garret Jones to get to Lastings Millege who played into their hands by being completely flat at bat. A successful strategy to this point, the Dodgers decided to keep playing the odds and walked Jones once more to take their chances with Millege, loading the bases in the process.
This was the last chance for Millege to redeem himself. Will he be the goat or the hero?
His bat finally connected with the ball sending it deep to right field. The blistering orb slipped under the glove of the outfielder and headed for the wall. Two Pirates scored easily. Seeing there was no throw coming, Jones--who was intentionally walked, remember--rounded third and charged home to score the winning run!!
Then Jones broke away from his exuberant teammates, and lead the pack towards second to celebrate with the former goat, now game hero, the man of the minute, Lastings Millege. The crowd (what was left of us) went wild, the fireworks went off, the team jumped and cheered like kids.
An unexpected fantastic finish. And it felt good!!
For one brief moment, there was joy in Mudville.